In commemoration of the International Women’s Day on 8 March every year, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, affirmed that supporting the role of women in the development of society, highlighting their contributions in various fields and advancing their status, in light of the difficulties and challenges they face in obtaining their rights guaranteed by the regulations, are among the priorities of the OIC.
Al-Othaimeen stated that the challenges facing women in many Member States are the result of instability, wars and armed conflicts, and an outcome of women’s weak participationin decision-making. These are obstacles facing women and preventing their effective presence in the development process in some societies, The Secretary-General called on Member States to make greater efforts and cooperation to promote the participation of women in all fields. The OIC also appreciates the active efforts of Member States in this regard.
The Secretary Generalalso stated that the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires justice, particularly in social protection systems, and access to public services. He called for devising innovative methods to lift barriers to women’s empowerment and for promoting greater opportunities for women, especially in the domain of science and technology. In this context, the 7th session of the OIC Ministerial Conference on Women adopted resolutions calling for promoting the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for women, activating the role of women in conflict resolution and social peace promotion, empowering women in the political, economic and social domains, and protecting women from all forms of violence.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Secretary General paid tribute to women around the world, especially those living in conflict, crisis and war zones. He mentioned in particular women in the occupied Palestine, Syria, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia and other Member States and in the Rohingya camps. He called on the international community to intensify its efforts with a view to alleviating the suffering of women, children and marginalized groups.
The Secretary General reaffirmedthe OIC’s determination to continue its efforts to implement the OIC Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women (OPAAW) and invited Member States that have not yet ratified the Statutes of the Organization for the Advancement of Women to accelerate the finalization of ratification procedures as a key mechanism for the follow-up of the implementation of OPAAW.